Venturefest West Midlands, festival of opportunity, attracts more than 500 people

More than 500 entrepreneurs and investors turned out today (Thursday March 24) to see Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, open this year’s Venturefest WM, which recognises innovation excellence within the region.

Venturefest WM saw entrepreneurs and innovators from across the West Midlands given a unique opportunity to develop and grow their business by meeting with potential investors particularly in the fields of science and emerging technologies.

The event was led by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Innovation Alliance WM, working with local enterprise partnerships, universities and Bruntwood, a leading property provider to the science and tech sector. It was being backed by several key sponsors including the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

Venturefest West Midlands, festival of opportunity, attracts more than 500 people

The Mayor, who is also chair of the WMCA, said: “It was wonderful to be at Venturefest and celebrate the innovation excellence on display in our region.

“Pre-pandemic, we had the highest start-up numbers outside of London and I am keen to see us get back on track. Working collaboratively across the private and public sector, I am confident we can and will work as a team to bounce back stronger than ever.

“The sign posting in the trailblazer devolution deal about innovation accelerators is a sign of more good news to come.”

Other highlights included keynote speakers from a range of sectors including Ian Vickers, CEO of METCLOUD and Emma Jones, CEO and founder of Enterprise Nation. Since launching METCLOUD 2017, Ian Vickers has become recognised for his innovation after creating one of the most secure cybersecurity platforms in the UK.

Ian has won dozens of internationally recognised awards for innovation and has raised £1 million `seed’ funding from Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF). During his speech, Ian shared insights into his success and the barriers, opportunities, collaborations and support along the way.

Similarly, launching in 2005, the Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation continues to be the most active UK small business community and a leading campaigning voice for small business. During her keynote speech Emma Jones, outlined three key routes to growing a small business in 2022 with top tips on how to sell to bigger brand clients and make the most of the international trade opportunity. 

For more information about Venturefest WM 2022, visit

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